The Poetry Project

The Brannan Prize

The Poetry Project is proud to offer this annual $1,000 prize for emerging poets in honor of former Poetry Project intern and poet Lisa Brannan, called The Brannan Prize. In addition to the financial prize, the winning poet will have one poem published in The Poetry Project Newsletter. The generosity and dedication of our interns and volunteers — often emerging poets themselves — is invaluable to The Poetry Project, and we are so honored to offer this prize, which supports emerging poets, in the memory of our former intern, Lisa Brannan.

Lisa Brannan was a Poetry Project intern in New York City during the mid-1990’s. She was born in 1975, grew up in South Carolina, and moved to New York to study engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. While a student, Lisa began to develop an interest in the local literary and cultural scene of Lower Manhattan. Her interests shifted from science and engineering to creative writing. She joined The Poetry Project as an intern in 1995 and helped the Project with event promotion and archiving. Lisa developed her writing by immersing herself in the world of the subjects and themes that interested her. Her work explored the role and experience of marginalized women, sexual dynamics, drug addiction, and other difficult topics. Lisa passed away on June 4, 1997, at the age of 22 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Submission Guidelines:

There is no fee for poets interested in submitting to the prize. Poets interested in having their work considered should observe the guidelines below:

  • Send 3 previously unpublished poems not to exceed 15 pages to info@poetryproject with “The Brannan Prize” in the subject line.
  • Personal identification should not appear in the submission document in any form. The judge for The Brannan Prize will review all submissions without any identifying information.
  • Emerging, in this case, will not be defined by age but by publication record. The criteria for submission is that the poet may not have published a full-length book at the time the prize is given, although chapbook publication is fine.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere before the June prize announcement.
  • We will accept submissions from April 1 - April 30, 2020.

2020 Second Annual Lisa Brannan Prize

The Poetry Project is pleased to announce the winner of the Second Annual Lisa Brannan Prize. This year's judge was poet and former Poetry Project program coordinator, Patricia Spears Jones. Patricia Spears Jones reviewed over 150 applications with no identifying information, and selected Emma Gomis as the winner of the Second Annual Lisa Brannan Prize. On one of Emma's winning poems, "Xiu Xiu," Patricia wrote:

The poem 'Xiu Xiu' is language liscious. I love the focus on family, on sound, on the transformation of the daily––a reminder that poetry marks moments as well as aeons. And I think the work represents the qualities of Ms. Brannan.

Look for Emma's poem "Xiu Xiu" in the forthcoming issue of The Poetry Project Newsletter.

Emma Gomis is a Catalan American essayist, poet, editor and translator. Her work incorporates video, theory and work with various archives. Her texts have been published in Denver Quarterly, Entropy, Asymptote, Vice Magazine, and Mother Jones, among others. She is the cofounder of Manifold Press, which publishes texts in experimental criticism. She holds a B.A. in Musicology and Hispanic Studies, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Poetics from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she was also the Anne Waldman Fellowship recipient. She will be pursuing a Ph.D. in criticism and culture at the University of Cambridge in October 2020.

Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet, editor, activist, literary curator and playwright. She is the winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets and Writers and author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015) which was finalist for both the PSA’s William Carlos Williams Prize and the Patterson Poetry Prize and featured a Pushcart Prize winning poem. She also has 10 additional publications: poetry books, chapbooks and anthologies. She is co-editor of the groundbreaking anthology Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women (1978) and editor of Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat (2009). In 2015, she edited The Future Differently Imagined, an issue of About Place Journal, an online literary publication of Black Earth Institute, where she is a Senior Fellow Emeritus. Mabou Mines commissioned and produced ‘Mother’ and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting which premiered in New York City in collaboration with composers respectively, Carter Burwell and Lisa Gutkin. She has had residencies at Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Millay Colony and most recently a Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva. She served as Program Coordinator at The Poetry Project in the 1980s. She has taught at the Poetry Project, Poets House, the Fine Arts Work Center, CUNY campuses and Adelphi University. She is the organizer for American Poets Congress.

2019 First Annual Lisa Brannan Prize: